NDP leader John Horgan meets with taxi operators in Victoria, October 2014. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

UPDATE: Pressure on John Horgan to protect taxi industry

Claire Trevena announces another study of Uber-style service

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena announced Monday that the B.C. NDP government is hiring an Ottawa-based consultant to study ride sharing, a hot political issue for urban areas as unregulated smartphone services have already started operating in Metro Vancouver.

Trevena said the report by consultant Dan Hara is expected by next spring, and will guide the government’s next moves. During last spring’s election campaign, Premier John Horgan promised ride sharing by the end of 2017, but Trevena said it is a complicated issue with differences around the province.

Trevena indicated that a framework to allow services like Uber and Lyft to operate in B.C. will be in place by the end of 2018. She said she is aware of the demand by urban communities to open up the system because taxis have not provided sufficient service.

Trevena said she had not read Hara’s previous report on ride sharing, done for the City of Vancouver in 2015. A system that works for communities like Campbell River and Quesnel as well as Vancouver is needed, she said.

B.C. Liberal transportation critic Jordan Sturdy said the NDP is breaking an election promise to deliver ride sharing by the end of 2017.

“There’s an assessment, a study, evidently by a gentleman who’s already done a study on exactly this issue, to be delivered some time in the spring, with a potential for legislation next fall,” Sturdy said.

Trevena said there are six pieces of provincial legislation governing the taxi busines, some dating back to the 1920s. B.C. also has a Passenger Transportation Board that administers taxi licences.

Introduction of Uber, Lyft and similar mobile phone-based services has been a divisive political issue, as both the B.C. Liberal government and the NDP have struggled with how to licence the new technology while protecting the taxi industry.

The B.C. Green Party has been demanding action and the other parties stress the need for a “level playing field” with taxi companies who have big investments in vehicle and dispatch systems.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria’s living wage now costs $20.50 an hour

Cost of living increase drives region’s living wage up 49 cents, leaving you able to afford only one latte per year

Saanich man arrested in cross-border drug smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Greater Victoria faces multiple charges following six-month investigation

Victoria Shamrocks acquire NLL and MSL all-star

Rob Hellyer brings offensive power to the Shamrocks

Two Oak Bay officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

West Shore resident receives B.C. Community Achievement Award

Kevin Albers fell into building affordable housing and hasn’t looked back

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Arrests made after truck crashes into unmarked police cars in Nanaimo

Two men facing numerous charges after allegedly fleeing scene on the mid-island

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

VIDEO: Vets, volunteers set up vaccination station for sick bunnies

Volunteers, vets try to stop spread of lethal virus

If you see a dog in a hot car, don’t break in: SPCA

People are being discouraged from smashing windows to free animals. The SPCA has tips on what else you can do.

Most Read